Summary: As members of the body of Christ, we as Christians need to pay more attention to the persecuted members of the body of Christ world wide.
The Body Of Christ: Death By A Thousand Cuts
This message today will and should cause all of us to be sad, very sad but also very much encouraged too! I will inform you of some great human tragedies and I will also show you just how brave and faithful some foreign Christians are and in so doing I will challenge us to examine what we take for granted and examine what would you be willing to do if your faith were challenged the way that it would be if you lived in a country hostile to Christianity.
In our world today, there are many countries where Christianity and being a Christian are outlawed. Not just outlawed but extraordinarily persecuted. There are countries and regimes that will actually hunt Christians down arrest them and either imprison them, kill them or both. Usually with no trials or if there is one it is a trial in appearance only and there is no real opportunity for the defendants to actually defend themselves or be set free.
Many times the Christians in these places don’t even make it to trial they are just drug out of their homes and killed either in public or in private. Usually it is public so that their deaths will serve as a warning to others who are Christians to recant their faith in Jesus Christ or face the same consequences.
I want to explain why I titled my message today the way I did. I want to shine a spotlight on the Big “C” Church, the Body of Christ today. I want to say right off the bat that the Body of Christ cannot be “killed,” but what I mean by The Body Of Christ: Death By A Thousand Cuts is that we are losing thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world and we are, as American Christians, doing very little to stop the carnage.
Most of us would rather not think about what the Enemy is doing to us, the church, around the world because we are comfortable and complacent right where we are and the suffering of the Christians in other countries just seems like a bad dream or we may even say “that’s a shame and someone should do something about that” but that someone is rarely us and that includes me too.
Because we are not persecuted like our brothers and sisters are in foreign lands we tend to forget about them and even worse, pretend that the persecution is not really happening at all. Shame on us!
A minute ago I said most of us would rather not think about what the Enemy is doing to US THE CHURCH and I did mean “US THE CHURCH” because in case you either didn’t know or have forgotten we, as Christians, are all connected not only through our shared faith but by the Holy Spirit of God.
In 1st Corinthians 12:12-27 the Apostle Paul wrote this to us about the Body of Christ:
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,
24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,